Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Wedding: Wardrobe

For anyone who has read my interview on Ruffled or chatted with me early on the the planning process - you already know that the top hat served as the jumping off point for all things wedding.  Literally in the very first "what do you want at the wedding" conversation D. and I had, he immediately stated top hats. Nothing else mattered as much, and it determined the direction for everything else from clothing to paper goods to photo booth. I knew instantly we wouldn't be having a wedding in a barn or a super modern gallery and that a certain theatrical flair would be needed. Not exactly a problem for us. 

Top hats demand morning suits, morning suits demand cravats. The end result was a perfectly tailored British look. To mimic our bridesmaid's black and white frocks, each groomsmen's cravat was a slightly different black and white pattern. 

D. purchased his suit and had it tailored. He wore it with his own tux shirt, Ben Sherman oxfords and Monopoly top hat cufflinks.

A certain ring 'barrier' had some special accessories as well.

I purchased a dress before my dress. At the time it was "the" dress, but it had a lot of the things I had originally not wanted. Strapless (for one) and although lovely, somewhat normal. It just wasn't what I wanted and I had misgivings about it from early on. But, for anyone that has had the bridal salon experience, you know what it's like when they put the veil on and everyone starts crying. You're hooked, and it's hard to leave empty handed.

Luckily, my past employment included a costume shop and a very talented boss, namely Ted Stark. Ted took the frothy, layer-cake confection of a dress I had in mind and made it into reality. The classic dress-maker feel and oddball theatricality was the perfect match for the top hats.

From the mikado silk bodice to the endless flounces of pinked ruffles to the perfectly placed pockets. It seemed to me to be the sort of thing you'd want to wear to a party. A celebration in dress form.

My veil, the subject of past pondering on this blog, was huge, epically, awesomely huge. And when scrunched up, it perched on top of my head like some sort of cartoon bow, or a swirling cloud of cotton candy. Made by my mom, embellished with my grandmother's rhinestone necklace. In my heart it is the perfect veil. There could be no better. If you want one, I'll make it for you and save you the mega bucks they cost in the bridal boutiques.

My massive earrings were vintage. The necklace, a wedding gift from D.

But my favorite wedding accessory of all? Without a doubt my disaster-plagued shoes that rose from their tie-dyed grave to become the most incredible footwear on earth. Another much debated item on this blog, I finally gave in to a pair of Nina shoes which I took to have dyed at a shoe shop in Denver. Several days later - and less than several days away from the wedding, they were returned to me, the dye process having failed and the shoes a sort of cloudy shade, leaking blue on anything they touched. My cousins and junior bridesmaids came to the rescue with a trip to Michaels, a handful of blue fabric markers and several hundred packs of crystals.

One by one, we took a turn at the counter - tweezers in hand, affixing tiny, tiny crystals to the back of my newly "blued" pumps, that still weren't entirely color-safe

Even if you don't think these kicks are spectacular, you have to admit, there is nothing cooler than wearing something on your wedding day that all those near and dear to you had a part in making.

And then there were the bridesmaids. The most fantastically quirky combination of black and white prints allowing each to shine on their own.

I was averse to traditional bridesmaids dresses from the very beginning, a wash of one shade wasn't working for me, neither were the fabrics or the prices. I wanted eclectic, and affordable, and actually wearable, so I started searching. Everything from Anthropologie to Ralph Lauren came together for a bridal party of pattern on pattern.

For months we scoured the interwebs and department stores in search of the perfect balance of spots and stripes, blacks and creams, lengths and necklines to find something that suited each lady. Along the way there were hits and misses, great surprises and a final result that I can't stop looking at. 

Almost all photos by the incredible Erik Clausen of Poser Image - the rest are snapshots from around the house.